Arizona Short-Term Rental Preemption MYTH vs. FACT

In 2016, legislation was passed and signed by the Governor prohibiting local governments from banning short-term rentals (STRs) in Arizona. Currently, while the law states that local authorities can regulate
local zoning ordinances, the enforcement of them is actually UNENFORCEABLE!

MYTH: Cities, towns, and counties have full authority to regulate STRs
FACT: Local enforcement is impossible to follow through with, as the process in place to allow for enforcement are rendered useless when guests are transient and law enforcement and zoning inspectors are not able to witness the violations on action.
The STR industry will say that it is enforceable, but the real-life reality of violations are not able to be readily enforced by local zoning or law enforcement. Furthermore, there are no processes in place to track the required registration of STRs, leaving cities and town in the dark in terms of how many are actually out there.

MYTH: STRs are not causing housing issues and affordability issues in cities and towns.
FACT: Housing shortages – when an individual (not a business) cannot purchase a home because investors make higher offers and outbid the individuals – is real. This is happening all over the U.S. Specific cities and towns are hit especially hard. Sedona, AZ is one example. Hospitality workers supporting the tourism industry cannot find affordable housing to live in the town where they work. This creates a snowball effect of worker shortages in those cities and towns. Likewise, investors’ cash offers out bid an individual trying to buy a home with a bank loan, making it difficult for single-family residence neighborhoods to allow individuals to have purchasing power over cash investors with deep pockets.

MYTH: State laws allow cities to penalize “bad actors and party houses”
FACT: Local laws on the books will not allow actual enforcement of these issues when they occur. For zoning issues, these violations must be witnessed twice in 48 hours by a zoning inspector. Once the zoning inspectors arrive, the guests are long gone and violations are impossible to witness. Law enforcement faces the same challenges, when they arrive, they must be witness to the violations. Law enforcement can stop the issues, and educate the guests. But when the next set of guests arrive, issues can start all over again for the neighbors.